Before going further into authority and power, more must be said on the Author of authority and power. As a man, Jesus stated, "All power is given to me in heaven and in earth." Matt 28:18 KJV. Or "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." NIV The words power and authority are synonymous in this case. Jesus has both.
Some claim this verse is saying it is God the father, the supreme authority, Who gave Jesus some lesser authority, leaving Jesus eternally submissive to the Father. But other references negate that teaching. For example, in Genesis 1:26 we're told "And God said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth...'" The meaning of God here, is plural. This is NOT the supreme father God telling the lesser God what to do, nor is it the lesser God asking permission from the supreme father God to to make humans. According to the text, our plural God spoke in unison. Jesus said He and the Father are one, and Genesis backs that up. They are so one, they think and speak in unison. John says the same thing. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God." Jesus also referred to Himself as I AM.
Therefore, the Matthew 28 statement must mean that all power and authority were given to Jesus in His human form. Indeed, scripture bears that out. He healed the sick, raised the dead, gave sight to the blind, and delivered the captives from demons.
The fact of Jesus's many miracles is so common place to us who were raised in Christian homes and heard those accounts from young up, they bear emphasis. Not one husband, who claims God gave him authority can heal the sick or raise the dead—unless the Holy Spirit gave him that gift. Jesus DOES have all authority and all power. He has all authority and power in heaven right now, had all authority and power when he was here in human form, had all authority and power as part of the plural God-head before He came to earth as a baby, and will have all authority and power throughout eternity. His authority is so great, He spoke the cattle into existence and put the planets in motion, to name just a few of His capabilities.
It is important to focus on the authority and power of Jesus, because He is our ultimate authority. He spoke for the entire Godhead when He was on earth. It is His words we need to follow. If anyone teaches anything different from what Jesus said, or appears to teach something different from what Jesus said, we MUST double check the meaning. Indeed, with Jesus being the ultimate authority, His teaching is far more important than the teaching anyone tells us Paul taught. Paul, himself, wrote that anyone who lays a foundation other than Jesus, who teaches things opposite of, or not in line with what Jesus taught, is a deceiver.
On this eve of the election, as people cry out to God that their favorite candidate(s) will win, as they come in humility before God as they recall the verse: "If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14, are they really repenting? What are they saying? I've heard things like: "We need to repent for the abortion, and homos*xuality in our nation." But they refuse to look at the sin in the pews of every congregation. The sin of replacing God's authority with the authority of men—especially husbands. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus, God, or even Paul, command husbands to take authority over their wives. Nowhere. Yet, entire denominations and churches teach husband authority. They excuse husbands who do not cherish and sacrifice for their wives, and who beat, browbeat, or manipulate and threaten their wives, because they have replaced God's authority with the authority of men.
The first and greatest commandment is "Thou shalt love the lord thy God with all thy heart, with all they soul and with all thy might." This means we are to put God first. According to what Jesus said, we prove our love with our obedience, (if you love me, keep my commandments). Husbands claim God has given them authority over their wives, but there is no such command from God or from God's spokesperson in the Bible. In fact, in the Genesis passage quoted above, God gave humans--both male and female--dominion over all the earth and the creatures on it. God did not give males dominion over females. Women have equal authority and dominion along with men, but men are putting themselves above God, and insisting their wives put husbands above God, too. This is the greatest sin in the church. It is wholesale rebellion against God.
The second commandment is like unto the first commandment, Jesus said: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." There is nothing loving about a man dictating to his wife (his neighbor) and insisting on his own way. Nor is there anything loving about the whole church insisting that wives give husbands their own way, so that husbands do not have to demand obedience. That is still the husbands insisting, and lording it over their wives--even though they are doing it collectively. Furthermore, Jesus gave explicit directions to NOT take authority over other able-minded adults. Jesus said: "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Jesus taught us to love and serve, NOT to take authority over others. Men sin against God and against their wives when they take authority over their wives. And women sin against God and against their husbands when they follow their husband's dictates, thus putting their husbands before God.
THIS is the major sin of which the people who call themselves "the church" need to repent.
Jesus said "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matt 15: 8-9 Jesus has the current "church" pegged. People raise their hands and claim to be close to God, while they are actually following the commandments of men.
The very first of the ten commandments is: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:3. Yet the "church" has put males—husbands--before God. The church is following the authority of men, who can neither raise the dead nor heal the sick, rather than the authority of God--who has the power and authority to throw them into hell.
Could the current decline of our nation be caused by the rebellion of the so-called church against the authority of God, rather than because of society's abortion or homos*xual practices? Indeed, Peter supports that thought. "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered." How can men expect God to answer and honor their prayers when they are living in rebellion against Him, by replacing Him with themselves? As Shirley Taylor puts it in the book she is writing, husbands have become the little golden calves of the church. If men don't dethrone themselves, God, Himself, will grind them to powder.
Waneta Dawn is the author of "Behind the Hedge, A novel" See www.wanetadawn.com A Mennonite woman fights to save her family yet keep her faith.
Chronically Self-Centered Spouse Series
Nope, I'm not doing this series.
Nope, Visionary Womanhood is not doing this series. But I do thank Natalie
for linking to it over there a couple years back...